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DUI reduced to Reckless Driving

Driving under the Influence of Alcohol charge reduced to a reckless driving after challenging the denial of right to counsel.

Client was stopped traveling the wrong direction on a one-way street. She was visibly upset and crying, and asked the police officer to make a phone call in order to contact a lawyer. The officer told her to stop crying or he would make it harder for her disregarding her request to make that call. No further requests were made for a phone call or to contact a lawyer. During the examination of the officer, he could not recall whether a request to make a call was made by client.

The Arizona Constitution provides for the assistance of an attorney whenever a suspect is being questioned by a police officer.  When the suspect requests to contact a lawyer the police may not interfere with that request and allow for the suspect to do so before continuing with questioning. Because the client insisted that she asked to call her lawyer though the officer had no recollection the state amended the DUI charge to a Reckless Driving with a minimal fine and no driver license restrictions or alcohol classes required.

Practice area(s): DUI / DWI

Court: Justice court